PROJECTION: FIRST LIGHT
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on October 1, 2020
Projection: First Light caught my eye because of its truly beautiful art style, which features a wonderful shadow play of stick and paper figures and makes excellent use of darkness and light. I was lucky enough to receive one of the review codes, so let me tell you all about this beautiful game!
As our adventure starts, we find ourselves in the parents' house of a little girl called Greta. This girl is an adventurous one and she's about to go out and have fun playing outside. So she hugs her parents goodbye and off she goes! Now, do you remember that particular scene of the second Harry Potter movie, when Ron wanted to follow butterflies instead of the spiders as Hagrid suggested? Well, I have good news for you. In this game you'll have to follow a butterfly and our brave girl is lucky enough to catch it.
Alas, she is not the most nimble and dexterous girl out there; she knocks stuff over, steals an apple and crashes a taxi cab. The owners of the shops and taxi cab go to her parents to complain about this reckless behaviour, so naturally she gets punished for her actions and is sent to her room. Now our little girl is mad and in her rage she breaks the glass jar in which she kept her new found butterfly. The butterfly knows the girl doesn't like to be locked up in her room, so it shows her a way out and that's where the real adventure starts!
Projection: First Light is a puzzle platformer which manages to shine a whole new light on this genre (see what I did there?) The world is all about shadows and lights and the manipulation of the latter of the two. You can walk around, using light and other objects to cast shadows that you, quite magically, can stand on. The puzzle element of the game is in the shadows; manipulate shadows to create new doorways or platforms that enable you to continue on your journey. Soon after the introductory level, a floating light will start following you everywhere. The fact that you can also manipulate this light is super handy, because now you can create shadows at will! Just simply move your floating light around objects and create brand new paths. Furthermore, there are big vases lying around the levels that you can move. Now you can even decide where to cast your shadow, so to speak.
Shadow puppet theatre likely originated in Central Asia-China or in India in the 1st millennium BCE, so it's no surprise to see Indonesian and Chinese influences in the game. This is so beautifully done and there are so much nice details in the game, it's really a feast for the eyes. While shadow play theatre is an Asian invention, but has a long history in Europe too. And the developers throw this element in the game as well, because they take us on a trip through time to discover the history of shadow puppetry, which takes us from China and India, through Turkey, all the way to 19th century England. And let me tell you that these countries look absolutely awesome as a shadow play.
Projection: First Light is a beautiful game with influences of several cultures. I simply love the theater theme and shadow play art style, which works together perfectly with the puzzle platformer genre. The controls are also really good (and let me remind you, I'm not a platforming pro). Greta is a sassy little girl. When she falls and stands up or after people tap her on her head, she always will fix her hair first. I love that kind of details. They really give characters depth and make it easy for the player to relate to them.
All in all, I think it's safe to say that I had a brilliant time with this game. Everything about it was fantastic! A job done perfectly!